The present paper reports on early-career academics’ (ECAs) experiences of support for teaching in a research-intensive university in Africa. Through conducting a questionnaire and follow up in-depth interviews greater insight into how ECAs perceive and experience support for developing their teaching practice, is gained. Our analysis suggests that most academics interviewed began their first teaching position with no preparation for all that teaching involves. Many struggled to balance the demands associated with teaching and research, in addition to familiarizing oneself with institutional teaching norms and cultures. Almost all found support from within their discipline, although such support was incidental and spontaneous rather than planned. We offer the idea of communities of practice as an approach to institutionalize support for ECAs and draw on the scholarship of teaching and learning as the theoretical framing for this study and experience from a South African institution.

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Keywords Africa, communities of practice, ECAs, higher education, scholarship of teaching and learning, South Africa
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Journal Studies in Higher Education
Osman, R. (Ruksana), & Hornsby, D.J. (2016). Communities and scholarship in supporting early-career academics at the University of the Witwatersrand. Studies in Higher Education, 41(10), 1835–1853. doi:10.1080/03075079.2016.1221659